In the third installment of our "Member Spotlight", we are featuring the very first member of the SHOP in Corvallis!
What's that Lauren? Why aren't you member #1? Well, Jeff actually pays for his membership and you get to come for free. Oh no, I'm sorry…I shouldn't have…OK OK!
Today we're featuring Member #2!!!
What got you started and how long have you been at the SHOP?
For a long time, I was a member at a local fitness club that I would attend a few times a week, mainly just to lift weights and work on strength. A little over 10 years ago, I got into triathlon training which eventually morphed into just competitive cycling, both of which changed how I trained at the gym, but with not much instruction. I grew weary of just “lifting” with no set goal in mind and frankly lost the enthusiasm to keep myself on task. I’d heard of CrossFit and was very interested to try something new that included more all-around fitness exercises mixed with what I consider more practical strength. What is “practical strength”? To me, especially as I enter my 50’s, it refers to strength that enhances not only what I like to do recreationally, but what I need functionally for every day activities; days when I need to be on my feet all day at work; working in my yard; helping a friend, etc. I dropped my existing gym membership when I heard Drew was coming to town and I’ve been a member of the SHOP since day 1. I really wanted something that wasn’t so routine, and with CrossFit, the workout is different everyday. REALLY different. Strength days; conditioning days; aerobic; anaerobic…it’s all there. My fanatical biking has tapered off quite a bit (I’m just too busy these days), but I still try to get in so many miles per week and mixed with that, the SHOP has been a really good fit for me.
With what movement(s) have you seen the most progress?
I love the Olympic lifts. They seem relatively simple as an observer, but are really quite complex, whole body movements. It is now abundantly clear to me that good form and flexibility are key to a good foundation of strength. So often you see people in the gym doing nothing but isolated muscle sets…not that there’s anything wrong with that (if you’re a body builder). But it seems so impractical now. Functional strength seems to be a much better focus. Even the body weight exercises can be very challenging.
What do you like to do outside the gym?
I bike a lot; both road and mountain. I ski, hike and recently got into yoga…a bit. My latest recreational endeavor, however, began about two years ago. I started horse riding; specifically, competitive reining. It’s very fun and requires a surprising amount of energy and a lot of focus. I’m drenched with sweat after working out with my horse…NOT a passive activity. Not that I’m any good at it, but good core and leg strength are very helpful in guiding an 1100 lb animal around the arena at speed. I missed out on a chance this year, but I’d like to climb Mt. Rainier next summer.
serious air time!!
What movement(s) would you like to improve on in the next few months?
Hmmm…tough one. I’ve been wanting to do an overhead squat for a long time but I just don’t think I’m there yet. Requires quite a bit of shoulder and ankle flexibility. I will continue to concentrate on core strength, however. Planks?
Favorite place to eat in/near Corvallis?
This is in no particular order…
- Sky High is my favorite pub. Love their Shiloh and Freewheel IPA’s. Extendo burger is awesome.
- American Dream for that unique sour-dough crust pizza.
- A great summer destination, especially by bike, is Chatoe Rogue up near independence. Outdoor tables in the middle of their hops farm is a beautiful setting on a sunny afternoon/evening.
- I love The Vault, in Albany. Great drinks and tapas.
- Sybaris in Albany. Rotating menu. Excellent chef. Never disappointing. Save that place for special dinners.
- I enjoy the hearty diner-style breakfasts at The Broken Yolk.
- Gathering Together Farm (a family favorite) – Delicious farm-to-table menu.
What advice would you give members just starting out at the SHOP?
- Listen to Drew-most important. (Editor's Note: Jeff is obviously VERY smart)
- Start low/go slow. Resist the urge to ramp-up too quickly. It’s very important to be solid in the movements of many of the exercises before moving up in strength. There are days where the workout of the day will require “heavy” weights. That’s a relative, not absolute, term. Doing many of these exercises at ANY weight is beneficial so don’t hurt yourself. Challenge yourself to a heavier weight only when you’re body is ready for it. Inspired by watching several of the younger (and much stronger) guys at the SHOP, I (and my ego) have made this mistake a few times. There is no contest. It’s only you against you.